Imagine spending an entire Saturday with a group of teenagers all in business suits (including the ladies) going room to room with carts and dollies full of file boxes (their research and case cards) and hearing snippets of conversation involving politics, the latest unemployment figures, and vocabulary that includes hegemony, solvency and paradigms.
Sounds kind of surreal doesn’t it? That’s debate. A bunch of smart stress puppies putting in many hours (along with their exhausted coaches) and traveling many miles hoping to get just a few extra speaker points and maybe end up with a college scholarship.
In general I found a great bunch of kids, able to hold their own in a conversation better than many adults. They support each other, fight like cats and dogs, critique each other and whoa to anyone from the outside that treats one of them badly. Teams from different schools pass each other in the halls asking how they did in their last round and commiserate on the shortcomings of their last judge. I love their humor and drive.
I got to watch two rounds and as always was amazed at the speed and the level of intensity. I was tired and I didn’t have to do anything but listen!
One student shared a link with me that I want to pass on. The site is called Progressive U and their opening paragraph on their about page says the following:
Do you want to regenerate brain cells killed by countless hours on MySpace?*Do you need rehab to cure your Facebook addiction?
Are you exhausted from wading through piles of nonsense on Xanga and LiveJournal?
Stop banging your head against a wall of pictures, and put your brain to good use!
Progressive U is a blogging site for teens with a vision:
The mission of Progressive U is to provide young people with opportunities to discover, analyze, and discuss the values and democratic principles that promote a healthy, just society.
Youth can also earn scholarship money here. A $1000 and two $500 scholarships are available. The rules are available on the site.
This is a great use of blogging and as they say on their site ” Friends don’t let friends waste all their time on Myspace”
I’m off to bed now, watching debate wears me out and time springs forward tonight.